Saturday, June 3, 2017

Putting myself to the UFC prediction test once again

Tonight's UFC 212 event features two key fights: a battle between the top two contenders in the strawweight division, and, in the main event, a bout to unify the two top featherweight fighters who aren't named Conor McGregor.

In my recent predictions, I've felt confident in my choices. For tonight's fights, I do not, but I'm going to put my picks on record anyway and see how I do.

The strawweight title contender fight pits Claudia Gadelha (#1) against Karolina Kowalkiewicz (#2) for the dubious right to lose again against champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Both women are strong fighters, with Gadelha definitely the more powerful of the two and, crucially, the better grappler. Kowalkiewicz has the better gas tank and is a more technical striker, so she has the chance to out-point Gadelha. I don't believe, though, that Gadelha will give her that chance. Instead, Gadelha will close the distance and grapple with Kowalkiewicz, and ultimately she will win that way. So, I have to go with Gadelha to win what will probably start out as an exciting fight but quickly turn into a smothering grappling match.

The other match features once untouchable Jose Aldo against Max Holloway, who has been on a tear in the UFC.  Holloway is a skilled, versatile fighter, and he's the younger man, but he lacks knockout power, which is what let McGregor put the first loss on Aldo's record in years. Aldo is still enough in his prime--he's only 31, and he hasn't taken tons of punishment aside from the McGregor knockout--that I think he picks apart Holloway.  I expect the fight will go all five rounds, but in the end Aldo will be too much for Holloway and emerge the winner.

Check back tomorrow to see how I did.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Now more than ever

we need to get back to basics: peace, love, and understanding. As long as we keep seeing others as essentially different from ourselves, we can never all win, and it's time--past time--for us to figure out how we can all win together.

This song asks the right question.  Nick Lowe wrote it, and Elvis Costello covered it, as did others, so I'll go with the Elvis version.

The answer, of course, is, nothing.

Peace, love, and understanding.

Now more than ever.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

On Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement

Well, he delivered on a campaign promise. You've got to give him that.

That's all he deserves, though. He's once again denying the importance of addressing climate change, and he's making our country once again look backward and selfish. He's ignoring the advice of scientists and even of CEOs; check out their reactions here.

I am embarrassed by this man's behavior and the way he is making our country behave.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

It's time to settle an important issue

I brought this up in my closing remarks in the opening ceremonies at Balticon 51 (trust me: it fit), so I thought I'd share it here. Zoe Saldana does a fine job as Uhura in the new Star Trek movies, but for me, now and forever, that part will always belong to Nichelle Nichols.

That's just how it goes.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Buy a shirt. Start a conversation. Change the world.

That's what we're trying to do over at LYG, and you can help. Check out the six cool t-shirt designs on offer there, order the ones you like, and when they arrive, you'll also get some key talking points on nifty little cards. Wear the shirts, start conversations, and get people talking about how businesses can make the world a better place--and still make a good profit.

If you don't want to spend the money for a shirt, that's cool; just start the conversations. We're not out to get rich from selling shirts. We just want to make things better for all of us.

We can do this. We can change the world for the better.

I hope you'll help.

Monday, May 29, 2017

I'm out in the country

The land here in rural Virginia is beautiful, and I'm staying at a lovely place, but there is no mobile signal, and the bandwidth is excruciatingly bad.

Click the image to see a larger version.

Uploading this photo, for example, took many minutes.

So, I'll keep it to this:  I hope your Memorial Day was good and you remember those who died in the service of our country.

Tomorrow, I'll be home and in the land (I hope) of good bandwidth.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

All Balticon, all the time

The con definitely kept me busy today. I slept as late as I could, but that was only until ten a.m. Then, after a shower and a quick email check, I made my way to the main ballroom for the Liars Panel. As usual, I was the moderator. Joining me were Steven Brust, Ada Palmer, and Fran Wilde. All three were funny and entertaining, and we earned over $400 for Balticon's charity, which buys books for kids who would not otherwise be able to afford them.

After lunch with some friends and another chat with artist guest of honor Donato Giancola, I picked up from the art show the two pieces I ended up purchasing.

Next up was a panel titled, "It's Not Torture If It's the Good Guys." The discussion covered all sorts of topics related to the use of violence in fiction, and though at times I felt we wandered a bit, overall it went well, and the SRO audience seemed very much to enjoy it.

After a little bit of work, I joined the Baen Traveling Roadshow for a presentation on upcoming Baen titles; I spoke briefly about my books.

A short break, and it was time for dinner, which Baen hosted for the Baen authors in attendance. Though the service wasn't great, the food was decent, and the discussion remained good throughout.

The evening ended with some time talking with friends and then loading some of the stuff into the car.

Tomorrow morning, I head for a night in the country.


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